France 2-1 Denmark: Mbappe breaks the curse and sends France to the last 16

France advanced to the last 16 of the World Cup with a 2-1 victory against Denmark in their Group D match at the 974 Stadium on Saturday, making them the first team to qualify for the knockout round.

France leads the group with six points, three more than Australia, which defeated Tunisia 1-0 earlier in the day. Denmark and Tunisia each have one point.

On Wednesday, France will face Tunisia while Denmark will face the Socceroos in the last round.

France had the better opportunities in the first half, as Adrien Rabiot came close with a header and the Danes were forced to make several last-ditch stops to preserve their clean sheet.

Mbappe put France ahead in the 61st minute, capping a spectacular high-speed French counterattack with a bouncing first-time goal off Theo Hernandez’s deft pull-back.

Kylian Mbappe celebrating

Kylian Mbappe of France celebrates his team’s victory during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group D match between France and Denmark on November 26, 2022, at Stadium 974 in Doha.

Always a threat from set pieces, seven minutes later Andreas Christensen equalized for the Danes by sneaking in behind the defense and heading home.

Neither team appeared pleased with a draw, as Rabiot sent a magnificent volley over the crossbar in the 80th minute and Martin Braithwaite shot his own first-time attempt just wide of the near post a minute later.

Until Mbappe scored in the 86th minute at the far post off an Antoine Griezmann pass from close range to retake the lead and send the traveling French supporters into raptures, the game appeared destined to end in a draw.

France’s Aurelien Tchouameni (8) and teammate Olivier Giroud (9) compete with Denmark’s Victor Nelsson for a header during a World Cup group D match on November 26, 2022, at the Stadium 972 in Doha. Image Source: AP
Denmark poured everything forward in search of a second equaliser, leaving acres of space at the back, but their late efforts lacked finesse and the French held on for the victory that advanced them in the Nations League.

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